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Motivation: The Key to Success

Aug 17, 2007
When we consider the keys to that elusive thing called success, we sometimes think of talent, money, or luck. In reality, success requires plain, old-fashioned, hard work. And plain, old-fashioned, hard work requires motivation. In a very real sense, motivation is the most important key to success. Successful people are those who can get themselves busy as soon as something needs to be done, instead of procrastinating. There are many other ways that motivation contributes to success.

For one thing, if you are motivated, you can nip problems in the bud. Many times, when something is going wrong, whether in business or home life, the problem has been brewing for a long time. For instance, a rebellious teenager was probably a disrespectful pre-teen and a disobedient child. Dealing with the disobedient child, even though it means you have to get out of your easy chair to spend time nurturing and training them, is much more pleasant and effective than trying to fix the rebellious teen.

Of course, we all have problems that we could not foresee. Child raising tends to happen when we're not looking, and often we don't have the wisdom or expertise to make the right choices early. However, some of our difficulties could easily have been handled earlier if we had just been a bit more motivated. Think about equipment breakdowns, or even health problems. Taking action early is almost always the best thing you can do.

Another way motivation helps bring about success is that people will admire you for your energy and effectiveness. Your family will appreciate you for the things you help with around the house. Your bosses will be pleased with you and your clients will pass on recommendations to others. There's nothing quite as valuable to a business as word-of-mouth advertising. And all the accolades will help you feel good about yourself and motivated to do more.

Just like procrastination and failure can form a vicious downward spiral, motivation and accomplishment can give you momentum in an upward climb. You get "on a roll." The more you accomplish, the quicker you get at finishing tasks and doing them well.

Knowing how to motivate yourself is a great boon when struggles come along. It is very easy to get knocked off course or bogged down when your schedule or routine takes a blow. Being skilled at motivation can help you weather these storms. Being motivated gives you a feeling of control when everything around you is out of control. But it all starts from within you. Motivation can't be relied on to show up from outside! Maybe something will come along that spurs you, but chances are you'll have to find that drive on your own.

Finally, motivation is an important leadership skill. If you are to reach success, there's a good possibility the position you desire will be one in which you have to lead and direct those under you. This is particularly true if you hope to have a business become a success. Learn to motivate yourself, and you'll be well on your way to motivating those you've employed.
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